The Great Family Roadtrip 2010, Day 1

Well, kids, today was a slow start to our cross-prairie adventure. The morning was otherwise ordinary, rising and having breakfast and dressing. But then I climbed into the car and took Asia away to her hotel for the next week. I know this caused a little concern for you, Monkey, because you were worried about her.

Grandpa and Granny arrived after lunch. We loaded up the minivan (which had a fair amount more cargo space than Mommy and I thought there might have been), loaded up you kids, and hit the road for a town called Medicine Hat.

The beginning of our first great family road trip.

It’s a short beginning, I confess. We’ve got a long way to go. Winnipeg is over 1,000 kilometres from Calgary (note to those of you who don’t know Canadian geography: it’s far less than half the distance across the country — yes, Canada really is that big). You can do it in a day, driving for around 13 hours straight. But we’re not going to subject everyone to such a long day. That’s a little on the cruel side.

So we’re making a few stops. Our first is in Medicine Hat. Our next is almost an entire province further away in Whitewood, Saskatchewan. It’s going to be our furthest drive since Monkey was born. We’re not too sure how it’s going to go, since having you both locked in your seats will be a bit of a challenge. The third day is the trip out to Winnipeg.

Today’s trip was, well, a good start and a good test.

Getting ready to depart, Westgate, Calgary, Alberta, 4 August 2010

We left town going south to 22X, which is a little different than most people, who take 16th Ave N (which is the Trans Canada Highway through town) heading east. 22X continues into a provincial highway, and connects back to the Trans Canada near Bassano. I think if we feel the need to go east again, I might suggest it — for a drive, it is far more interesting than taking the Trans Canada right out of Calgary.

Once you get to Bassano, though … well, it gets kinda dull. We stopped at the Esso station there, mostly because Choo Choo was hungry and made sure everyone knew. Monkey had a chance to run up and down the aisles of the convenience store. I’ll admit that it worried me a little, since we were barely over an hour into the journey, and stopping another 12 times on the way to Winnipeg didn’t fill me with hope.

But we persevered, and made it all the way to Medicine Hat. We drifted through town until we got to the east side, and found our way to the Medicine Hat Lodge, a four-floor hotel casino. Checking in proved a little difficult, as there was a considerable amount of difficulty in the staff understanding the term “adjoining”. Granpa managed to get the problem sorted out, and soon we were checked in, and then eating a long-overdue dinner.

Our our meal, Mommy and Choo Choo headed to bed, while I took Monkey to the pool with Granny and Grandpa. We didn’t get to splash for very long, unfortunately, as it was already well past your bedtime, Monkey, and I wasn’t sure that taking you on the waterslide was a great idea. Still, you had fun. Then we went back upstairs to our rooms.

You slept with Granny and Grandpa, Monkey. You were very good, and did as you were told.

Tomorrow should be an interesting, albeit long day. I hope we all enjoy it!